It is hereby declared: that the milk industry is a paramount agricultural activity of this state and of the northeast in a region comprising the New England states and the Middle Atlantic states and is a business affecting the public health and welfare of the inhabitants of this state and of the northeast; that the production and marketing of milk of the dairy farms of this state and of states in the northeast region is of vast economic importance to the state and to the region; that compliance with reasonable requirements for the production and marketing of a safe and high quality milk supply is a matter of great importance both to the welfare of the dairy farmers of this state and the northeast, and the health and welfare of the consumers of milk and dairy products; that the production conditions in the northeast including the climate, topography and soils are about the same but marketing conditions are unique as compared to the remainder of the United States in that practically all of the milk in the northeast is produced for fluid markets because of the concentration of population. The natural marketing area, under present conditions of production and marketing, lies within the boundaries of the eleven different states with widely different laws and regulations which govern the economic climate and sanitary conditions under which milk and dairy products are marketed. Artificial barriers have contributed significantly to the loss of competitive position by New York and other Northeastern states. The market share held by milk producers in the region has declined. The marketing system for milk and dairy products in the northeast has been and still is badly fragmented. Assembly, administration, operating and sales costs are excessively high. Cooperative membership is below that in most areas of the country. Competition from other regions of the country will increase. A common marketing area in the northeast is necessary for a prosperous and growing dairy industry and it is in the best interest of consumers. It is therefore essential that there be uniformity of laws and regulations governing the production, processing and marketing of milk and dairy products in the northeast. The lack of uniformity of laws and regulations involving inspection of farms and plants, labeling of dairy products and their imitations, standards for dairy products, licensing of milk dealers and the terms of milk market orders have been a serious deterrent to expanding markets for northeast dairy products and costly to consumers.